People who live in Clearwater, FL (Pinellas County) have access to many qualified Social Security Disability attorneys and advocates. These legal professionals can help individuals who are sick or disabled to navigate the disability benefit application process. In fact, as of September 2012, Pinellas County was home to a total of 18,133 SSI recipients and 32,930 SSDI recipients.
Click here to learn more about these two different types of disability benefits.
Any other questions you have regarding Social Security Disability benefits or the application process can be answered by a representative at your local Social Security Disability field office. This office can be reached at the following telephone number or address:
2340 Drew Street
Clearwater, FL 33765
Hiring a Clearwater Disability Attorney
A common misconception is that disability lawyers and advocates are only useful during the Social Security Disability appeals processes. The truth is that a legal professional can increase your chances of approval during all phases of the application process. Learn about the many benefits of hiring an attorney or advocate, here.
Please note that a Clearwater Social Security Disability lawyer will also handle disability claims in the following cities located in Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County, and Manatee County: Dunedin, Country Grove, Windsor Park, Safety Harbor, Belleair, Largo, Highpoint, Pinellas Park, Harbor Bluffs, Ridgecrest, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, and Tampa.
For more information about the legal help in the Clearwater area, contact one of the following Bar Associations:
St. Petersburg Bar Association
2880 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713-8604
Clearwater Bar Association
314 S. Missouri Avenue, Suite 107
Clearwater, FL 33756-5858
Pinellas County Mid-County Bar Association
President James Dodson
1259 Myrtle Avenue South
Clearwater, Florida 33756
Clearwater Social Security Disability Hearings
If your initial application for disability benefits is—or has been—denied, it may be in your best interest to retain the services of an attorney or advocate if you haven’t already. The appeals process is much more involved than the initial application, particularly so during disability hearing. An attorney or advocate will help to analyze where your initial application went wrong and can help prepare you to answer any questions.
For those who are unacquainted with the disability appeal process, it usually requires that the applicant appear before and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Typically, this takes place in an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). Because there is no ODAR located in Clearwater, many Clearwater residents will have their hearings processed in the St. Petersburg ODAR.
If you find yourself facing an appeal hearing in the St. Petersburg ODAR, the following facts and statistics will provide you with insight into how this ODAR operates. Although your attorney or advocate may already be familiar with these numbers, it can be helpful to look them over together.
It is important to point out that the following information applies to the months between September 2012 and June 2013.
- The St. Petersburg ODAR scheduled a total 4,202 hearings
- 79.41% of all hearings in the St. Petersburg ODAR were resolved—meaning that the applicant was approved, partially approved, or denied.
- There are 12 ALJs who handle disability hearings in the St. Petersburg office.
- In the given time period each ALJ decided an average of 1.9 dispositions daily.
- As a whole, the St. Petersburg ODAR decided an average of 22.8 dispositions daily.
- 99.26% of the hearings held in the St. Petersburg ODAR were conducted in person. The remaining cases were handled through video conferencing.
- As of June, 2013 the St. Petersburg office recorded a total of 8,320 pending cases as well as a 458 day wait time.
These facts and statistics may not mean much to you right now, but if you ever have to attend an appeal hearing, they may come in useful.
As you probably noted when reading through the previous statistics, the wait for a disability hearing can span many months. If, after scheduling your hearing, you experience extreme financial or medical emergency, you should reach out to your local congressperson. He or she can intervene with the ODAR on your behalf to expedite your claim. Although this is not guaranteed to speed your claim, it will in no way harm your application or hearing.
Complete the following form for a free legal evaluation with a Clearwater lawyer or advocate